Seriously. Look at this blade. Hinoura-san is a true artist. By layering copper and brass into his cladding steel, he has created this crazy three-tone Damascus pattern. Hinoura-san is the only blacksmith to win the award for top knife two years in a row at the Seki Custom Knife Show. Both times were for his incredibly distinct-looking Damascus steel.
About the Shape - This is also a multi-purpose knife, but with a slight vegetable bias. Santoku means 'Three Virtues' or 'To solve Three Problems'. The virtues or problems are slicing, dicing and mincing. Santoku is usually found in 160mm - 190mm lengths. These are more and more popular in Western kitchens due to the unique shape and smaller easy to handle size.
About Tsukasa Hinoura - Tsukasa Hinoura, born in 1956, began practising his trade in 1975. His blades are known for a refined and long-lived edge. His knives are highly sought after in Japan and Europe, and will soon have the same reputation in Canada. Hinoura-san represents the third generation of his family‘s forging tradition. As a young craftsman, his role models were Nagashima and Shigeyoshi Iwasaki of Sanjo. They enjoy an excellent reputation in Echigo and have done a great deal to advance the knife maker’s art in Sanjo.
A province in the northern part of central Japan, historically named Echigo, is by no means just another knife making region. There, the art of forging looks back on 700 years of tradition. The city of Sanjo is situated in this province, in today’s Niigata prefecture. This is where the Hinoura family have been plying the blade making a trade for decades.
|Handle||Wa (Japanese) Handle, Wa Octagon top/Oval bottom rosewood and water buffalo horn collar/back|
A NOTE ABOUT RUST
Semi-stainless steel is a compromise between the edge retention of carbon steel and the rust resistance of stainless. This steel will rust if you let it. To avoid “bad” rust (orange rust) Wipe the knife dry with a dry cloth after use. By this we mean: between cutting and putting the knife down, wipe it dry. Overtime the blade will begin to protect itself with an oxide layer (grey to dark grey “good” rust), this will slow the reaction time but not inhibit the rust entirely. Maintain the good habit of drying off your knife.
• You should only cut food you can bite through with this knife. No olive pits, bones, lobster shells, woody stems or parmesan rinds. Cutting frozen food is especially bad because the cold will make hard steel even more brittle. If you wouldn’t chew it with your own teeth, don’t cut it.
• Foods high in acid and moisture will hasten oxidization (rust of both kinds).
• Your cutting surface is the biggest culprit of dulling your knife. Use wood. Endgrain wood is especially good. Plastic can be fine too, but certainly not glass, granite or bamboo.
• The edge of your knife works best sliding forwards or backwards. Scraping the knife edge sideways will dull or damage the edge. Use the spine of the knife to move foods across the cutting board. Do not twist the edge or pry with the edge, this is the worst screwdriver you ever bought and these motions will certainly damage the edge. Listen to the knife! If you can hear the edge making a “tink” sound on the cutting board, change what you are doing.
• After use, wash the knife by hand with regular dish soap, rinse with hot water and dry by hand immediately. Dishwashers are very bad for knives.
• Wood handles may dry out over time and exposure to water. Simply treat them with some food safe mineral oil or beeswax.
• If you see orange rust, remove it. The scrubby side of a sponge can do the trick. If it’s still not coming off try baking soda and water mixed into a paste or a product called Barkeeper’s Friend.
• Protect the edge; for your safety and to avoid edge damage. A simple blade cover will do the trick if you keep knives in a drawer or travel case.
• A convenient wall magnet made with wood is a great way to show off your knives. Be sure to put it back spine first, then roll it onto the blade face. This will keep the edge from contacting the wood first.
• The good-ol’ counter top block can keep knives at the ready and protected. So can drawer inserts. Whatever the method, keep the edge from touching anything else.
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